SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean Ryu Hyun-soo calls himself the “LG Phone Maniac” and says he will not be giving up his LG smartphones even though the company that makes them is out of business.

LG Electronics Inc announced earlier this month that the smartphone division will be liquidated by the end of July due to a continuing decline in sales.

Ryu, 53, who has collected nearly 90 devices in 23 years, said he started using LG phones because he liked their design and creative features, but the audio quality made him fall in love with them .

“I went all-in on the LG phones because of the audio,” he said.

At his home in Anyang, south of Seoul, Ryu has a room dedicated to the equipment and the parts and tools to fix them.

LG, which has been making mobile phones for about a quarter of a century, ultimately lagged behind competitors Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, partly due to poor marketing and slow software updates.

The smartphone division posted losses for nearly six years, which totaled approximately $ 4.5 billion by the end of 2020.

“I think they were rushing to catch up (with Samsung) and sacrifice quality … (and) to cover up the problem. The company was too focused on design and other features,” he said, and that led repeat problems for this.

He was confident with his plan to use the LG phones “forever” as he could buy parts online.

“It’s easy to swap out parts with a little practice. I’m not sure when the parts will sell out, but I’ll keep using the LG phones while the parts are still shipping,” he said.

Even so, he was nostalgic about the shop’s closure.

“A Samsung phone is like a smart friend to me and an Apple phone is like a friend. Then an LG phone is like a friend with whom I’ve shared the ups and downs of life. It’s sad to go to the friend to see it’s very sad, “said Ryu.

(Reporting by Daewoung Kim and Heejung Jung; writing by Tom Hogue; editing by Giles Elgood)

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